City funds support economic growth

By Christina Calloway

PNT senior writer

ccalloway@pntonline.com

A local group is using economic development funds to spruce up the Sands Shopping Center in Portales in an effort to attract new business to the area.

The Portales City Council recently granted $70,000 in Local Economic Development Act funds for the Falcon Group, LLC, for improvements to the shopping center.

LEDA funds are a portion of the city’s gross receipts used to pay for local projects and studies that support economic growth. It is considered an investment in the community with the intention of increasing the city’s gross receipts, according to city officials.

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Christina Calloway: Portales News-Tribune
The city granted $70,000 in economic development funds to renovate the Sands Shopping Center to meet Dollar Tree’s location requirements as well as attract new business to the west side of town.

Renovations to the shopping center, which sits on the west side of town, included parking lot overlay, facade and lighting improvements, and improved signage, according to Portales City Manager and former economic development director Doug Redmond.

Redmond added that these improvements were required to be made in order for Dollar Tree to locate to the shopping center, per the company’s requirements. The store is expected to open this month.

“A national tenant has some expectations that the space they’re in needs to meet a certain criteria,” Redmond said.

Local business owner and Falcon representative Mark Vigil said the Dollar Tree is the first tenant in the renovated shopping center at the council’s last meeting.

Vigil is talking to other national businesses concerning renting the second vacant spot once all the renovations are complete.

Each project granted LEDA funds requires a signed project participation agreement set by the economic development board’s finance committee. There are penalties specific to each contract, such as paying back money, if the recipient of the funds does not meet the contract requirements.

Redmond said the within the next three years, the businesses at the shopping center, which include national pizza chain Little Caesars and Mark’s Restaurant and Catering, is estimated to generate $3 million in sales. He added the Dollar Tree is a business that the residents expressed interest in locating in Portales and is expected to create about 40 jobs.

Redmond said with the renovations of the center and the new $8 million Eastern New Mexico University football stadium expected to be built within the next few years, there will be more of an atmosphere on the west side of town and will attract more businesses, including restaurants and hotels to locate here.

“I think you’ll see the west side of town boom,” Redmond said.

Breakout

Within the last five years, the city has granted a little more than $1.4 million in LEDA funds. Here’s who local economic development funds supported:

2008-2009

• Roosevelt County Community Development Corp.: $20,000

• New Mexico Machinery, LLC: $83,800

• Craig Hughes Welding: $60,000

• Papa Murphy’s: $29,717

• Sunland Inc.: $208,000

• Rooney Moon: $11,408

2009-2010

• RCCDC: $40,000

• Sunland Inc.: $60,698

• Vines Italian Restaurant: $50,000

2010-2011

• RCCDC: $40,000

• RCCDC: $100,000

• Hampton Farms: $55,000

2011-2012

• RCCDC: $40,000

• RCCDC Fun Center study: $5,000

2012-2013

• RCCDC: $40,000

• RCCDC Industrial Park Plan: $110,000

• RCCDC Industrial Park infrastructure: $100,064

• Hampton Farms: $178,697

• RCCDC Buxton study: $22,000

• Roosevelt Co. Brewing: $32,373

• Sunland Inc.: $150,000

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